Mahatzit Hashekel this Year
Halacha Yomit tells us that Mahatzit Hashekel this year is $10.00. This is based on the price of silver being $31.50 an ounce. However, I see that at the time of this writing, silver went down to $29.45 an ounce.
The calculation is always:
price of silver per ounce / 31.1 x 10.
Based on the price above, that would make Mahatzit Hashekel $9.47.
Here's the current value of silver:
2 years ago, it was over $10.00.
The amount to donate for Mahatzit Hashekel for small children is half the local currency (a half dollar in the US, a half shekel in Israel, etc.).
May our Shekalim precede Haman's Shekalim, as Rav Fish quoted the Halban last year:
I heard in the name of the Kabbalist Rav Hayim Cohen (the Milkman), who spoke on Friday, 24 Shevat, 5772, and said that it was clear to him that Ahmadinejad is a Gilgul of Haman Harasha, and he called to give the Mahatzit Hashekel early in order for us to have our Shekalim precede his Shekalim.